The year 2020 has brought countless unexpected events to society’s front door. From wars to wildfires, earthquakes to public health, and protests to murder hornets, each new scenario raises the same underlying concern for the general public: safety.
Safety with Curb Appeal
Although most businesses and individuals claim safety as a top priority, few are willing to create those safe spaces if it means wearing something uncomfortable, adding steps to a process or installing an eyesore. Many existing safety measures can even have adverse effects. Consider a store whose windows are covered in plywood or a sidewalk guarded on all sides by concrete barriers. These visual cues leave the average person thinking, is it safe for me to be here?
“Everybody wants protection, but the problem is that when you install that protection in the form of bollards or jersey barriers, people don’t like how it looks,” said Jacob Caval, owner of Cavalli Corp in Twin Falls. “Something that is supposed to provide peace of mind actually becomes a problem because it makes people think they have a reason to be afraid.”
Passionate about public safety and tired of seeing civilians injured through preventable acts of terrorism, Jacob came up with a plan to combine art and security into a single product he dubbed ArmourStone. These unique security barriers can be seamlessly tailored to the aesthetics of their surroundings, while providing a level of unmatched cover and durability.
“It can be made to look old or modern, different colors or patterns, and can integrate with all types of surrounding materials like stone, steel and bronze. Each one can have a totally unique look that isn’t intimidating,” Jacob said. “The decorative façade is interchangeable and replaceable.”
Impenetrable to the Core
Sure, the customization is appealing for businesses, cities and the protection of historic architecture, but how does it fend off rogue vehicles, provide shelter from an active shooter or block streets during events?
Each patented ArmourStone product weighs 3.5 tons and is made of custom concrete reinforced with one-inch rebar. A foot and a half of the structure is secured below ground, while the customizable portion of the barrier sits on the surface like a large flowerpot. By anchoring the product deep beneath the ground, ArmourStone prevents vehicles from deliberately using the barrier as a plow to injure crowds of people.
“A single unit can stop a 15,000-pound truck,” said Jacob. “Add one next to it or behind it and now you are stopping a 30,000-pound truck. We’re working with the University of Texas to conduct testing that will prove this product can stop even a 60,000-pound truck.”
Trucks aren’t the only things stopped cold by an ArmourStone barrier. Jacob’s barriers have also been proven to stop hundreds of rounds of ammunition for up to an hour, creating a safe, sustained cover for civilians or law enforcement.
Testing conducted with the Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office positioned shooters 20 yards away as they fired .308, .556 and 9mm caliber ammunition at the barriers. None of the more than 700 rounds fired were able to penetrate the barrier by more than 50%.
According to a memo from Twin Falls Sheriff Tom Carter and Chief Deputy Don Newman, they believe that if someone had been positioned behind the barrier during the test, that individual “would not have suffered injuries due to penetration of the ArmourStone security barrier.”
Local tests – including one conducted with the Idaho National Lab concluding the ArmourStone barrier can stop a semi-trailer truck moving at 50 mph – are only a fraction of the tests required before Jacob and his wife Gina can begin to sell ArmourStone to cities, government agencies and military departments.
A True Lifesaver
Ultimately, Jacob and Gina envision ArmourStone as another way to give back to the city that took them in more than 30 years ago. Since arriving from Romania as one of the first refugee families in Twin Falls, the Caval family has raised three daughters, run a successful business and dedicated countless hours to community service. Their hope is that ArmourStone will eventually create more than 20 local jobs.
“This could be huge, but we aren’t doing it for the money,” said Gina. “We want to save lives. That’s not easy to do, but we will do it. Once this is on the market, Idaho will be famous for more than just potatoes.”
To learn more about Cavalli Corp and ArmourStone, visit https://www.cavallicorp.com/armourstone. See samples of ArmourStone barriers outside Twin Falls City Hall at 203 Main Avenue East.